Ski Area Management Magazine: Ski Area Employees Need a Home

Seasonal employees from lifties to line cooks keep ski resort operations waxed (and often do the ski and board waxing). Resort-town lodging has always focused on hotels and condos targeting vacationers, making it hard for these low-wage but vitally important employees to keep a roof over their heads. The likes of VRBO and Airbnb have made it harder yet, with private owners who might once have rented seasonally going for more money from a succession of visitors.

In the March 2019 issue of Ski Area Management Magazine, OZ Architecture principals Rebecca Stone and Rob Rydel introduce key ideas for the successful planning and building of affordable workforce and community housing. Among them include creating centralized and walkable workforce housing to reduce car traffic, boost retail traffic, and enliven the resort’s core; building small units that trade location for square footage, as is common in big cities; and borrowing from the student-housing model to boost residential density while fostering the social interactions young workers so often seek.

Doing workforce housing right pays dividends in terms of happier workers and employee dollars – and it doesn’t have to break the bank, either, Stone and Rydel say. By going with modular, minimalist designs (think Scandinavian versus the pricier Bavarian) and building workforce housing in-house rather than relying on private developers, resorts can keep construction costs in check. For much more, read the full story here.